CA+T Launches RaceCraft Exhibition and Commissioned Art and WritingsSarita Echavez See
RaceCraft pays attention to how race intersects with craft practices and craft discourse.
Los Angeles, CA (October 20, 2015) -- The Center for and Thought (CA+T) announces the launch of a new virtual exhibition RaceCraft and original commissioned works by sculptor Tim Manalo, performance artist Kristina Wong, and poet Kimberly Alidio. The online exhibition launched on October 20 and will unfold in staggered waves over the next three weeks on CA+T’s website: http://centerforartandthought.org/work/project/racecraft.
Co-curated by Marie Lo and Sarita Echavez See, RaceCraft challenges the ideals that drive the popularity of the contemporary craft movement. Crafting is associated with words like “slow,” “anti-mainstream,” “local,” and “green,” and “DIY.” But the craft movement has transformed into a lifestyle choice and a marketing brand rather than as mode of survival. Despite its activist and inclusive ethos, the craft movement has been dominated by a neoliberal model of middle-class whiteness. People of color are often invisible in the craft movement, except as victims of globalization and exploitative labor practices who need to be saved by first world crafters. RaceCraft pays attention to what is rendered invisible in the celebration of craft as a means of social change. RaceCraft pays attention to how race intersects with craft practices and craft discourse.
Foregrounding alternative practices and genealogies, the artists and writers in this exhibition reveal how craft is marked by race, heteropatriarchy and colonization. They make visible its neoliberal underpinnings. They challenge an environmental politics founded on sustaining whiteness. Contributors include established and emerging artists, writers, and scholars from around the world: Kimberly Alidio, Aram Han, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Bovey Lee, Kang Seung Lee, Marie Lo, Tim Manalo, Alfred Marasigan, Do Ho Suh, Stephanie Syjuco, Namita Wiggers, and Kristina Wong.
CA+T also commissioned original works from three artists to complement RaceCraft. Based in Austin, Texas, Kimberly Alidio’s poetic sequence shaping and edging responds to an archive of colonial textbooks on basketweaving in the Philippines. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Tim Manalo contributed images of his installation Imperial Floods. Composed of hand-woven manila rope and bamboo twine, Imperial Floods deploys materials made from plants indigenous to the Philippines with the ends of the textile pieces dipped in bleach. Based in Los Angeles, California, Kristina Wong uses the essay “Sew Privileged” to reflect on the ethical and political contradictions and challenges that accompanied the process of creating her new one-woman play Wong Street Journal, which features an entirely hand-sewn set.
Taken together, the works in RaceCraft show that being “crafty” is not just aptitude and a lifestyle choice. It is artful subterfuge in the face of racial constraints.
Special thanks to Jan Christian Bernabe for curatorial guidance, Martina Dorff and Gian Dionisio for research and clerical assistance, and the California Institute of Contemporary Arts for fiscal support.
For more information about the Center for Art and Thought, navigate to: http://centerforartandthought.org/about